As the weather breaks and the warm breezes of spring take over the chill of the past winter, we uncover our patio furniture, power wash the patio or deck and find the perfect plants for our backyard. However, we often forget to check on the barbeque grill, our partner in making great things happen. The barbeque grill is the only household appliance that is exposed to a vast amount of outdoor elements. It is left in the freezing cold during the winter and heated to temperatures in excess of 600 degrees during the summer. It’s snowed on, rained on, baked by the sun day after day, sometimes visited by all manner of insects, pests and animals. Yet it is still expected to work and last like any appliance in the kitchen.
Here’s a few tips to make your outdoor grilling season much more enjoyable:
A good clean: A good cleaning will help your grill operate like it should and reveal any parts that are in need of replacement. You should always refer to your owner’s manual as a guide for cleaning.
a. Check the parts: Take internal parts out of the grill like cooking grates, heat shields over burners or briquettes and the rack they sit on.
b. Degrease: Spray all metal parts other than burners down with a grill degreaser, rinse with clean water and let dry.
c. Flip the lid: Clean the inside of the lid with degreaser. Gas Appliance Service notes that many customers often call to say that the paint is peeling on the inside of their grill. This is not paint, it is a grease layer that is drying out and has the appearance of peeling paint. A simple brushing will fix this issue.
d. It’s a sweep: Vacuum out the bottom of the grill to remove crumbs and ash. A shop vacuum is best for this.
e. Watch for webs: Before reinstalling parts, clean burners with a stiff wire brush and check for spider webs by inserting a pipe cleaner or a Venturi brush into the tube to remove any webs if any are present. Spider webs can actually cause what is called a “flashback” which will burn the ignitor, wires, control panel, knobs and valves. This is not covered by any kind of a warranty and can be a very costly repair. Avoid this by knowing how to verify and ensure that the burners are fully lit. If you hear rushing gas and a burner isn’t lit, turn the unlit burner off immediately and check the burner Venturi tube(s) for spider webs and make sure the burner’s Venturi tube(s) is connected correctly to the valve.
f. Assemble: Re-assemble grill and wipe down outside with stainless polish if you have a stainless finish or use a mild soap and water to restore luster to exterior.
g. Fire it up: Now it’s time to fire up the grill. It is important to make sure the ignitor is working. You should know where the spark electrodes are on the burners and be able to see if there is a good spark to ignite the gas before you turn it on. Always make sure all control knobs are in the off position and your lid is open before attempting to ignite your grill.
h. Gas up: Many calls come from someone who says the grill lights but has very little flame. A safety feature in propane tanks allows very little gas to flow if it senses a leak or an open valve, so again make sure all your burners are turned off. To reset this safety feature in the tank, turn off all the valves on the grill, turn off the valve on the tank, unhook the grill hose and regulator from the tank, then rehook tank back up to grill, open tank valve slowly, then try lighting grill one burner at a time. This should resolve the gas flow problem. Propane tanks should always be turned off when the grill is not in use.
i. Frequency: Clean your grill at least a couple times a year to keep everything operating smoothly.
If you need parts, always have the brand and model of your grill. There are numerous makes and models of grills and many of the parts are not interchangeable. If you do not have a brand and model number, Gas Appliance Service suggests you bring the old part to their showroom and they will see if they can match it.
To have your grills operation professionally checked, call a grill service company,such as Gas Appliance Service or the Fireplace and Grill Center.They will visit your home to do an inspection and check the operation of the grill.It is well worth the $95 to check the parts that make your grill work.If you have a portable grill,drop it off at Gas Appliance Service for in-shop service for $45.For the doit- yourself crowd,the Fireplace and Grill Center as well as Gas Appliance Service has numerous tools,cleaners and parts to help get your grill ready for grilling not to mention they have many sauces,spices and rubs to enhance your grilling experience.Now it’s time to fire up the grill!